Category Archives: Acrylic Painting

Tips and information about painting with acrylic paints

Step by Step Textured Painting

So following on from my last post about using resin in my paintings I realised that I had actually meant to document the process of creating the painting shown in that article.

So I put together all of the images I took during the creation process and have made them into a step by step video of how I did it which I thought might be of interest to some.

For future paintings I have just got myself a new video camera so hopefully I will be able to do some better videos (although if my first attempt is anything to go by this may not actually work out so well!) so will use that in future rather than stills.

The painting took a few days including leaving the texture to fully dry (as it was quite thick) and going back and changing the gold, silver and greys until I was happy with the final painting.

I did use some big dried up pieces of texture so that it would have a more rocky effect but obviously these were all coated and mixed in with the PVA.

Anyway, I have uploaded the video on YouTube so here it is below. It is mostly created using the standard texture mix, some pale paint colours, silver leaf, silver and gold powder and some fine iron pyrite pieces added in.

The resin really brings out the colours in the ‘rockpool’ and really gives the effect of water so I don’t think it would have worked half so well without that.

Edited to add:

I have added this painting to my Saatchi Online portfolio for sale here.

Textured Abstract Painting

OK so I was looking for a picture of a certain painting today and I came across another photograph of an old painting I did a couple of years ago that was one of my favourites, so I thought I would share it (especially after the last post was about one that I wasn’t really that keen on!). I did this textured abstract painting a couple of years ago and it sold pretty quickly after I got a lot of good feedback from friends and family. It was quite a large textured painting on a box canvas:

Untitled29I think if you click on it you should be able to get a much bigger image to see all the texture in the painting.

I used my usual mixture of texture, details of which you can find on this site and used a cake slice to apply it along with a bunch of other tools that I had lying around to make patterns in the texture and I think the proportions of the arrangement of the texture have worked in this case (I try and use the golden ratio to position the various marks and changes in colour and texture and have a great belief that this really works to make the painting properly balanced). I’m sure a lot of you have already studied this but if you haven’t then I would definitely recommend looking into this as it particularly works in abstracts I think.

Another thing I used in this painting was the gold and silver powder that I had picked up in Dubai – you need such a small amount of it that I have enough to last a lifetime! (If you are in the UK and want some to experiment with then I have a few small pots for sale for £5 so comment on this post and I will email you with details if you are interested).

One thing I would recommend to do, particularly if you are trying to recreate a particular style of painting (and you won’t find many artists recommending this!), is to try and copy someone else’s work. I would emphasise not to do this to aim to sell the painting at the end, but just do it as an experiment to see if you can recreate what they have done. Each time I have tried this, I have learned something new about adding either paint or texture when trying to mimic the results that the artist has created in their painting. You can then learn more techniques that you can use in your own work.



Paint Pouring – An Experiment

Firstly a disclaimer – there is no texture involved in this post!

So I have seen a few videos of paint pouring and the kind of effects that you can get with pouring acrylic paint onto a surface and letting it do it’s thing. I have previously created and sold quite a large number of paintings using a similar technique in the past (see this article for more info) but haven’t done many paintings like that for a while as I have been more focused on using texture.

Anyway, the paint pouring videos I have seen are fantastic and really made me want to give it a try. I will add one below so that you can see the type of thing that I mean, if you haven’t already.

I think the results he gets on these paintings are just awesome – looking at the video he uses a heck of a lot of paint (and a few people!) to get the results. Although I have quite a bit of paint (you could call me a bit of a paint hoarder!) I’m not sure I am quite in this realm.

So, I wanted to give it a try and I mixed up my paints to get ready to go – I had a bunch of small lemonade bottles hanging around which were quite useful for mixing the paint – I think I mixed it about 1 part paint to 1 part water but it was a bit of guesswork.

I had also found that I had a storage box that had bits sticking up where the wheels went which perfectly fit a 40x40cm canvas that I had spare that I wanted to experiment on. This would catch all the excess paint. However, half way through I decided to use my usual technique of putting masking tape around the edges so that I kept most of the paint on the canvas.

Anyway, here is my video of how I got on. I’ve speeded (sped?!) it up 16x the actual speed so that it doesn’t take too long! For a first try it has come out with an interesting pattern even though it is not exactly what I was aiming for. I think a few more tries will be necessary as I wasn’t really happy with the lack of concentric circles (which was kind of what I was aiming for) and I think this was due to a few reasons which I will go into below.

OK – so reasons I think it didn’t turn out as I expected:

  • I don’t think I poured enough paint on each pouring
  • I think it needs a solid surface not a canvas as the paint tends to pool in the middle a bit
  • It may be better to use something that would enable gravity to get the paint onto the medium (like the box used in the video at the top)
  • I need to keep experimenting with the consistency of the paint
  • I possibly also need to introduce some resin as I think that is what others have used in some of these paintings

So although the resulting painting wasn’t quite what I had in mind,  I thought it was worth sharing this experiment for a few reasons – 1, so that I could come back and know what to do differently next time and 2, so that others can learn from what I did if they want to give it a try.

Update: so the painting sold at the exhibition that I created it for – and I got quite a bit of good feedback on it so I’m happy about that.


Creating a Textured Abstract Painting

Ok so I have finished the video of the creation of a new painting for my lounge. Obviously I couldn’t video every minute of creating the painting as the video would have been too long!

Often I spent time just painting over and over to get the right effect. For me the key here is layers of paint, the more layers the better, until you feel like it is finished. The other key point is not to add any colour neat (apart from white), always try and partially mix it with another colour.

This is the finished result, it is similar in style to the header image on this website:

Textured Abstract Painting
Textured Abstract Painting
The finished painting hanging in my lounge
The finished painting hanging in my lounge

This is the video sped up to 8x normal viewing. If anyone is interested in the full length video then I might post this too although it is pretty much 20 minutes long.

The colours I used in the painting were as follows (I used acrylic paint):

Antique Brown
Pale Umber
Green Gold
Naples Yellow
Permanent Green Middle
Permanent Green Light
Windsor Violet
Permanent Magenta
Burnt Umber

In addition I used gold leaf and gold powder.

Some techniques I used were painting not only with brushes but also with household sponges, cloths to wipe off excess paint, painting with watered down paint as a wash and dry brushing with brush and sponge.

I painted the sides a few times with a sponge with watered down paint and in the end I used a satin varnish to finish off, avoiding the gold leaf.

Here are some images of details of the painting and the texture:

Tissue Paper for Texture

If you want a quick and easy way to add texture to your paintings then you can use tissue (the type you blow your nose on!) or tissue paper. ideally you would use PVA to apply the tissue to the canvas but if you don’t have any then you can just use acrylic paint. Either put the tissue on top of the wet paint or add the tissue to the paint and apply it to the canvas – you could also add a little water if it is a bit thick with the tissue in.

Just leave it to dry (ideally overnight) and you have a good base to paint over. You can build up big layers of the tissue if you want to have a really heavy texture under your painting.

Using a Small Amount of Texture

So sometimes less is more but adding a small amount of texture to your paintings can really enhance the final look. For this painting I used a small amount of texture in the white splash of waves – some of it was quite thick – to give the enhanced effect of the waves crashing. It turned out really well and I am now working on a smaller version.

Acrylic on Canvas with a small amount of texture - 'Crashing Sea'
Acrylic on Canvas with a small amount of texture – ‘Crashing Sea’

New Paintings for Exhibition

So I have 4 paintings going into an exhibition starting today and I thought I would share a few pictures as three of them involve plenty of texture and each one has a different type of texture under it. They are all abstract paintings as per my usual style.

Painting 1 is similar to two I did for the same exhibition last year – marked off segments with different patterns in each piece of texture adding to the depth of the painting.

‘Abstraction’, Mixed Media on Canvas

I used my usual mixture of stucco and pva on the base of the painting, covering the whole canvas, then marking off the sections reasonably quickly and adding some different parks to various areas of the painting to add more depth. After that I used 4-5 coats of paint – one base coat over the whole painting and then different shades of brown and topped off with copper leaf and gold and silver powder.

Next painting was using a thinner base of stucco and pva with some tissue put onto the texture while it was still wet to form a line at the top of the main blue section:

Blue Landscape, Mixed Media/Acrylic on Canvas

The third painting was created using a different texture underneath – in this case I used general plaster in powder form and added some water to this as well as some pva. The effect was much more grainy in the texture but it still adheres well to the canvas.

Quite a few coats of acrylic paint were added in various thicknesses to get the desired effect and then some multicoloured leaf.

‘Bird of Paradise’

Textured Squares Painting

Here is an example of a textured squares painting. This painting has a base of home made texture which is made up of stucco and PVA which was left to dry overnight before paintings over. Various different marks were carved into the texture whilst it was still wet.